Hi there, i know you have been asked this question so many times before but i am having so much trouble getting XP to shut down. I select shutdown and it goes through its whole process until it gets to the "windows is shutting down" screen and it just stays there. I have searched and searched for the answer on the net but cant find it. everyone says the same thing "check apm" theres a problem there.... I dont have an apm tab. The other answer has been "get rid of fast shutdown"..... I've been unable to locate this as well. Please help. I've even uninstalled all of the recently installed programs incase some weren't compatible. That hasnt work. It used to be fine then all of a sudden its not!

does that happen every time?
This happen to me once in a while and what i usually do is press the shutdown button on the machine and hold it until the comp fully shuts down.

Yea, this happens every single time I shut it down. I have to manually press the power key and hold it for a few seconds before it will shutdown. I hate doing this. i dont know if I'm damaging programs and files and things by doing it but have no choice. It used to shut down by itself ok and now it just doesnt.

in fact,it does not damage any files or programs if u press the button when it says 'window is shutting down' but probably will if u press the button when it says 'saving files and settings...'
anyway,if this only happened recently and suddenly(for no reason),u can try system restore to go back to the date when ur comp can shutdown normally

I suppose I can do that, what will it do to the machine? Anything that I've done or saved since then will it be gone? It's only been about a week or so since it started happening.

yes stuff u saved or installed within that week will be gone,u can get a disk and save watever u need in there before hand

If you don't have APM, then when XP installed; it did not recognise your PC as "advanced" instead it detected it as a "standard" PC and this will show in the HAL, as "standard PC" in other words it thinks your BIOS/PSU is the old type and therefore will not powerdown, but if this is the case, it usually gives a message that says "It is now safe to shutdown your PC"

To complicate matters, it will sometimes show as standard PC and still work as an advanced PC.

But this reg hack may help, you need to edit the registry.

Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Edit the key PowerOffActive (click it twice) and give it a value of 1

You can do the same in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

restart your PC to activate, then shut it down again to see if it helps.

If that's no good....

A process may be hanging when the PC is shutting down. you could try editing the registry so that your PC shuts down processes faster and therefore may stop this behaviour. This is the registry hack...

Start regedit

Find User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
Click on Value Name: HungAppTimeout
Change Value Data: (Time in milliseconds) to 1000

restart the PC to enable, shutdowns after this should be faster and may stop it hanging.

This should "safely" kill any hanging processes.

I had a similar problem as yourself, I have a dual-boot PC with XP on both Hard disks, on the C: drive, XP shuts down normally, but on the D: drive it would force me to turn it off at the power button, when it said "It is now safe to shutdown your PC" but I fixed it by editing the registry.

I hope this helps


Thanks Dave, I tried both your options and unfortunatley neither of them worked! This is really starting to annoy me! I'm about to pick the computer up and throw it! (I wont really :D ) Anyway, have you got any more suggestions? I've been on the phone to my computer support people and they told me to do a selective startup so that only the programs needed are running while you have the computer on and that way if anything was hanging at shut down i would be able to go through and selectively uninstall things until I found the program that was doing it but that didnt work either. I dont really want to do a system restore but it might be the only option now. I'm running my spyware programs at the moment cos Ive been told it could be spyware on there doing it. Hope so. Anyway if i run a Hijack this log and upload it here could there be anything in that that i could get rid of do you suppose?

There's alway... re..for...mat.... ;)

Thanks for that.... One of the things I'm trying to avoid is reformatting. I would rather try everything else 1st. If it comes down to it I'll do it but there has to be another way.

OK so the simple fixes didn't work...

take a good look at this link, as this is where I learned much of what I know about power down issues. http://www.theeldergeek.com/shutdown_issues_in_xp.htm

I HAVE managed to change the HAL on some computers with this problem, but just as many won't let the HAL be changed.

Good Luck.. If you end up having to reinstall XP, don't forget the F5 key, as mentioned in the link above, it can save all this hassle.



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